Reblog if you know the feeling!
From Lynn Truss
This is a very popular post, and we have preserved the original punctuation.
Personally, however, I think the punctuation of the male perspective is misleading. One could argue that, from the male perspective, “without her man” is a defining modification clarifying exactly which woman—“a woman without her man.” If that is the case, it would be perfectly fine to write:
“A woman without her man is nothing.”
For a defining relative clause, commas are not needed to separate it from the main clause. With the commas, the relative clause reads as non-defining, implying that a woman is nothing and just happens to also be without a man.
How would you punctuate it?
Colons often get confused with semi-colons, but they have different effects. The colon makes the first part of the sentence unimportant. It’s always the second part of the sentence that will give you the relevant information, although you need the first part of the sentence to tell you that.
Colons are used to make lists,
Don’t forget: clean the kitchen, do the shopping, and bathe the dog.
Here’s the grocery list: eggs, milk, juice, bread, and fruit.
To do: English essay, math homework, and write that thank-you note to Grandma.
People often abuse punctuation; for examples: commas, apostrophes and hyphens.
or to separate one idea from the one which follows.
I know what to do with that cake: eat it.
I. can’t. handle. it.
It’s the pause after a big, holiday meal!
This is true for American English. It is common in British English to place the punctuation outside of the quotation marks based on logical clarity.
AmE: Please explain what you mean by “traditional.”
BrE: Please explain what you mean by “traditional”.